Before: Large, Bland YardJeff and Marguerite Blackman live in the historic city of Vancouver, Wash., located just across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore. Vancouver combines the excitement of a major metropolitan area with a small town feel and plenty of outdoor recreation. They love their casual, elegant home, perfect for entertaining family and friends, but now they're hoping to move the party outside by revamping their backyard.
Jeff and Marguerite love the location of their home because of the beautiful environment and peaceful nature of the town. They spent six months renovating the inside of the home to showcase its clean lines, amazing views of the wetlands and Mount Saint Helens. In addition, they created an open airy kitchen for Jeff who loves to play chef outside of his engineering job. The only area they haven't gotten to is the outside. The backyard is an enormous rectangle that butts onto the wetlands and dwarfs current landscaping.
After: Custom-Designed LandscapeThe homeowners decide to use the expertise of Ann Nickerson, who designs an abundantly flowering yard accented with old stone walls. The old, main deck has been replaced with a new bluestone patio bordered by brick. Nearby is the new custom-built barbecue with ample counter place and a seating area. A path from patio leads visitors past a bubbling water feature near the house on the way out into the rest of the yard. Moving into the yard, an island and peninsula offer more areas to entertain and relax. New plantings along the side of the yard provide privacy. Plants at the back of the property soften the transition to the wetlands without obstructing their pristine views.
Before: Worn-Out DeckThe Blackmans' home is casual, elegant and perfect for a couple who loves entertaining family and friends. They would like to bring the same balance to their yard and deck area outside the bedroom.
After: Beautiful Landing AreaNow, Jeff and Marguerite have a backyard that's a gorgeous complement to their gracious home and one they'll enjoy entertaining in for years to come. The old bedroom deck was sanded and stained for a fresh new look. Just off the deck, a stone path leads out to a new entertaining area, and stones excavated from the yard are used to terrace more plantings on the side of the property.